By their very definition, emergencies, such as severe storms, arrive unexpectedly and without warning. Only fleets that have an appropriate level of preparedness can cope with them successfully.
How can you make sure that you weather storms successfully and maintain a high level of service despite adverse conditions? Specifically, when your fleet is called on to respond during emergencies or storms, as utility companies often are, how can you continue to deliver great service and successfully coordinate your team?
For fleets that are part of an official storm or emergency response team (like utility companies), it’s even more vital to be organized, prepared and ready to act, following the guidelines in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
There are three main aspects to effective storm and emergency response:
- 1 – Know your fleet Keeping an accurate inventory of all vehicles and workers that are available to call on during an emergency is an important first step. There’s little value in trying to rally the troops during a storm; you need to have your fleet organized and ready for dispatch before it hits. Some things you need to know include: the attributes of each truck, what personnel (e.g., lineman) are available, what skills they have, and the response times for each unit.
- 2 – Communicate Maintaining tried and tested lines of communication with your drivers is important so that your fleet can respond quickly and efficiently. Fleets that have operated using NIMS will be familiar with the Incident Command System (ICS) that helps various teams from different organizations work together more effectively. Telogis Share (part of Telogis Fleet) takes this a step further and allows you to provide your clients with a real-time ‘window’ on the fleet vehicles assigned to their job. Rather than the client having to contact you, the information is available to them from anywhere at any time, giving them accurate ETAs and site arrival confirmation.
- 3 – Deliver The best emergency and storm response planning doesn’t necessarily translate to effective execution. If your drivers and dispatch staff don’t have the tools to follow the plan of action, then you’re dead in the water. Backup your emergency response planning with a coordinated fleet management dashboard and mobile GPS tracking. Fleets using Telogis can coordinate their response, assigning drivers to vehicles, vehicles to teams, and teams to jobs. Routes to jobs can be optimized to minimize travel time, to route drivers directly to specific markers, and then overlaid with custom map data, such as power lines. Optimized, turn-by-turn routes can be provided to drivers using Telogis Navigation.
It’s not easy coordinating hundreds, or even thousands, of trucks in remote, hostile or storm-damaged areas, particularly when you’re under pressure and your company’s reputation is at stake.
However, you can make it a lot easier for yourself, save your team precious time and improve your service response to your clients by being prepared and having the tools and technology to make it happen.